It must be autumn, because I’m watching The Walking Dead. Not just one episode, either. Multi-episode binge watching on Netflix. My husband is out hunting and I am free to work on my projects and watch what I like.
Just like the seasons, my TV habits and my creative life operate in cycles. After making a bunch of crocheted socks last winter while working up north, I didn’t touch a knitting needle or crochet hook all spring or summer, focusing on scrapbooking and photo albums instead. Every year autumn brings me back to crochet and knitting, and this year I’ve come back to it excited and inspired. I’ll be trying new techniques and coming back to some of my old favourites.
One technique I’ve returned to is Tunisian crochet. The thick, cozy fabric it makes is perfect for winter accessories. I haven’t made anything this way for a few years, but after watching Lily Chin’s video tutorial on two-colour Tunisian crochet in the round on Craft Daily, I decided to dig out my hooks and get crafting. My first project was an iPad Air slipcover, made with Red Heart Treasure yarn in Tapestry. The Tunisian simple stitch really pops in this variegated yarn. The fabric is thick and gives some padding to protect the iPad.
The next project, my WIP for the weekend, is a new design by me. It’s a boy’s jacket, worked in Tunisian simple stitch with cables on the front and back of the jacket. Normally when I work cables I do them in knitting. I have avoided crochet cables, because I thought they would look cheesy, but I was wrong. I love the results! With this plain acrylic yarn (Red Heart Love in Pewter), the cables can stand out and don’t get lost in the texture of the yarn. If you want to try Tunisian, there are some easy free patterns on CrochetMe.
I still think the cables look better on Tunisian fabric than on regular crocheted items, and I’d like to try making the pillow shown in Toni Rexroat’s post about crochet for the home on Crochet Me in Tunisian. That’s another project for another night of The Walking Dead.
I’m back on Etsy with a selection of premium wools, unique & vintage patterns, and handmade gifts, including these Slouchy Slipper Boots for ladies. Check back soon for the pattern.
Back to school means back to knitting
There’s something about fall that makes me want to cocoon at home and make warm woolly things. I’ve finished a top-down knit raglan pullover sweater for my daughter, a bunch of hats (knitted and crocheted), and slippers too. My other daughter asked for a raglan cardigan in a sparkly yarn, and that one is nearly finished. She is just deciding on a few customizations. I finally finished this toque (a toque is a winter hat, for all you non-Canadians), made of springy Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran superwash merino (luxury!).
Upcoming: Craft Daily Trial Subscription Review
Are online crafting videos worth the subscription price? Blueberry Creek Crafts puts it to the test. Many companies, like Interweave, Craftsy, and Craft Daily, offer pay-per-view online video instruction for knitting and crochet. I originally wanted to watch the Knitting Daily TV series, now available through Knitting Daily. The first season is on Craft Daily, along with many other workshops by famous names like Doris Chan and Lily Chin. I subscribed for one month. My trial is in progress – I’ll report back after a month with what I’ve found useful, what wasn’t worth the money, and an overall rating.
Frozen-Inspired Halloween Hats
I thought we were Frozen-ed out here at home, but as soon as my daughters saw these Anna and Elsa costume hats on the Hopeful Honey blog, they told me I HAD to make them!
There’s a lot going on here at Blueberry Creek Crafts, and I hope you’ll join me.
Did you know you can get a free trial of the My Digital Studio 2 software for making custom projects? MDS2 is so easy to use and it helps you use all those digital photos. You can make beautiful photo calendars, photo books, frameable artwork, cards, and scrapbook pages. To get started, you need to download and install the software, visit the MyDigitalStudio.com site for free video tutorials, and try your first project.
Do you know if your crafting business is turning a profit? You’d have an easier time if you did your bookkeeping regularly. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare! A micro-business owner like yourself can easily keep books and manage invoicing with the new cloud accounting applications.
Computer or Mobile Device
Online cloud accounting programs are quick to set up, super easy to use, and give your invoices a professional look. They are also available for iPhone, iPad, and Android as an app. I use the Freshbooks iPhone app, and it is very functional for time entry, creating invoices, entering expenses, and pretty much all of the online functions except reports.
Automatically record expenses by linking your credit card and business bank account to Freshbooks. All you may need to do is edit them to make sure they’re categorized correctly. If you need help getting set up, contact a local Freshbooks Certified Bean Counter for help.
Create and Track Invoices
Upload your company logo to make a professional-looking invoice template. Then enter a few details, choose a customer, and you’re pretty much done. Email your invoice, or print it out and mail it. Easy as that! Track invoice status easily – the app notifies you of payments and shows you which invoices haven’t been paid. It even shows how long invoices have been outstanding, if they’re overdue.
Get Paid Online
The great thing about these programs is they allow your customers to pay invoices online with credit cards, PayPal, and other online payment apps. It’s so easy! Just choose what forms of payment you are set up to receive (if you want to use PayPal, you need a PayPal account, for example).
Get Help With Setup
Contact Gwen at Cayuse Creek Consulting for help getting set up with cloud accounting. She’s a Certified Bean Counter for Freshbooks, and a Wave Pro. She’s also a QuickBooks Online accountant and a member of the SAGE Accountants Network in Canada. Initial consultations are free.
Looking for memorable holiday gifts? Here are five unique ideas at a range of price points. Bonus – you’ll be supporting ethical sourcing, recycling/upcycling, and local artisans. Each one is Canadian or has a Canadian connection.
Light and Movement
Need some sparkle this holiday? Brilliant Earth’s gorgeous nature-inspired Wisteria collection is truly covetable. The Wisteria earrings (on left) and ring (far right) are on my wish list! Although Brilliant Earth is based in California, these fine pieces are made with ethically-sourced, conflict-free Canadian diamonds. You can also order custom-made engagement rings and wedding rings.
Ju Tri Luxury Soap and Hand Knitted Items makes soaps, lotions, lip balms, toques, and mittens. This Etsy shop, based in Alberta, Canada, has a Kootenay connection – the owner was born in the West Kootenays.
Clever Paper Crafts
Wintergreen Designs, on Etsy, sells fabulous Scandinavian-style quilled paper ornaments. Who knew quilling could be so cute? Not to be missed!
Original, Locally-Made Artwork
The Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar, BC is hosting an exhibition and sale for Christmas, featuring artwork by over 100 local artists and craftspeople. One way to make the holidays memorable is to make memories! Visit the gallery for a magical experience this holiday. You’ll find many gift ideas once you’re there. Highly recommended!
I have several discontinued stamp sets that I’d like to sell to make room for the new holiday collection. They’ve been gently used in my studio. Most are clear stamps made for use with the clear blocks. $10 per set (a great deal).
Stampin’ Up! is having a giveaway on Facebook for a chance to win our next My Digital Class to help your customers share our excitement about these new classes. When people enter to win, they’ll be hit with all our My Digital Class awesomeness and will get a preview of the classes that will be available for purchase. Those who enter will also get a customized link that they can share with others.
Everyone who enters has a chance to win our next My Digital Class, but those who share their customized link will get their name entered into the drawing one more time for every person that uses their link to enter. So, after you enter, make sure to post your link to the giveaway on your Facebook page, Twitter, e-mails, and anywhere else you hang out online.
You can enter the giveaway starting on Tuesday, November 12. To enter, just go to our My Digital Studio Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mydigitalstudio) and follow the links there.